Income tax department's intel unit to track evaders
March, 04th 2013
In no mood for showing leniency to tax dodgers, the government has activated a business intelligence unit at the income tax department's Vaishali office in Ghaziabad. The crack team will be headed by a senior officer drawn from the Financial Intelligence Unit to track big-time spenders who are yet to show up on the tax radar.
The new intelligence cell will be part of the systems department where finance minister P Chidambaram had last week inaugurated the central processing cell for all tax deducted at source (TDS). The crack team has been tasked to track suspicious individuals making huge expenditure but who have not been declaring income that could support such lifestyles.
Already, the cell has scanned over four crore highvalue transactions and linked it to people who have been identified through their Permanent Account Numbers (PAN). At least 12 lakh such PAN holders, whose expenditure far exceeds their income , have been put on surveillance and action has been initiated against many.
The department has taken the help of the I-T's Directorate of Criminal Investigation to send out notices to 35,000 such individuals and more are in the process.
On Sunday, finance minister P Chidambaram said the government will not offer any amnesty to income tax evaders. "In income tax, there is no case for amnesty. We have a huge amount of data which is being mined. Therefore, there is no case for amnesty today," he told a news agency, adding that almost all returns were online and it was easy for the department to ascertain who was spending what and earning what.
The nodal cell has been converted into an online monitoring system and will capture the response, take follow-up action and track return filing and tax payment. The cell has used information received from Cash Transaction Reports (CTRs) of FIU as part of this data matching exercise.